That dollar amount reflects an average 125.9% increase collected by all shippers of fertilizers over the five-year period starting in 2018 when overall fertilizer exports were worth $59 billion.
From 2021 to 2022, the value of exported fertilizers accelerated by 57.6% starting from $84.6 billion.
Fertilizers are critical agricultural drivers, essential for growing crops that feed people around the world.
The 6 biggest fertilizer exporters in 2022 were Russia, Canada, mainland China, United States of America, Morocco then Saudi Arabia. Collectively, those major suppliers accounted for over half (51.6%) of globally exported fertilizers during 2022 down from 52.6% for 2021.
Applying a continental lens, countries in Europe sold the highest dollar worth of exported fertilizers during 2022 with shipments valued at $48.4 billion or 36.3% of the world’s total. In second place were Asian exporters at 31.9% while 16.9% of international fertilizer shipments originated from North America. Another 12.2% was sent from exporters in Africa.
Smaller percentages came from suppliers in Latin America (2.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean notably Trinidad and Tobago, then Oceania (0.5%) led by Australia.
Focusing on different types of exported fertilizers, over three-quarters (76.3%) were nitrogen-based products. Potassic fertilizers represent 20.4% compared to phosphatic fertilizers at 2.3%. Excluding those mineral or chemical fertilizer subcategories, the other fertilizer type is animal or vegetable fertilizers which accounted for the remaining 0.9%.
For research purposes, the high level 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 31 for fertilizers.
Top Fertilizers Exports by Country
Below are the 30 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of fertilizers during 2022.
- Russia: US$20.7 billion (15.5% of total exported fertilizers)
- Canada: $13.7 billion (10.3%)
- China: $11.4 billion (8.5%)
- United States: $8.5 billion (6.4%)
- Morocco: $7.7 billion (5.8%)
- Saudi Arabia: $6.8 billion (5.1%)
- Oman: $5 billion (3.8%)
- Belgium: $4.6 billion (3.4%)
- Netherlands: $4 billion (3%)
- Qatar: $3.6 billion (2.7%)
- Israel: $3.1 billion (2.3%)
- Germany: $2.5 billion (1.8%)
- Egypt: $2.34 billion (1.8%)
- Algeria: $2.34 billion (1.8%)
- Belarus: $2.31 billion (1.7%)
- Spain: $2.1 billion (1.6%)
- Poland: $1.95 billion (1.5%)
- Nigeria: $1.92 billion (1.4%)
- Jordan: $1.7 billion (1.3%)
- Malaysia: $1.6 billion (1.2%)
- United Arab Emirates: $1.4 billion (1%)
- Lithuania: $1.3 billion (1%)
- Indonesia: $1.2 billion (0.9%)
- Finland: $1.12 billion (0.8%)
- Chile: $1.06 billion (0.8%)
- Vietnam: $999.0 million (0.7%)
- Türkiye: $982.6 million (0.7%)
- France: $942.7 million (0.7%)
- Italy: $894.6 million (0.7%)
- Trinidad and Tobago: $835.0 million (0.6%)
By value, the listed 30 countries shipped 88.8% of globally exported fertilizers in 2022.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing exporters of fertilizers were the United Arab Emirates (up 4,106% from 2021), Oman (up 233.5%), Canada (up 107.8%), Türkiye (up 107.5%), Nigeria (up 102%) and France (up 93.7%).
A pair of top suppliers endured decreases in their international sales of fertilizers, namely Lithuania (down -3% from 2021) and mainland China (down -0.8%).
Countries Generating Greatest Surpluses Buying and Selling Fertilizers
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for fertilizers during 2022. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported fertilizers and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Russia: US$20.5 billion (net export surplus up 66.7% since 2021)
- Canada: $10.5 billion (up 138.9%)
- Morocco: $7.3 billion (up 34.1%)
- Saudi Arabia: $6.6 billion (up 89.6%)
- mainland China: $6.4 billion (down -26.2%)
- Oman: $5 billion (up 245.3%)
- Qatar: $3.6 billion (up 48.2%)
- Israel: $2.9 billion (up 94.2%)
- Netherlands: $2.7 billion (up 36.6%)
- Belarus: $2.3 billion (2021 data unavailable)
- Algeria: $2.2 billion (up 73.1%)
- Egypt: $2.1 billion (up 60.1%)
- Jordan: $1.62 billion (up 26.7%)
- Nigeria: $1.56 billion (up 110%)
- Belgium: $1.3 billion (up 38.3%)
The Russian Federation generated the highest surplus in the international trade of fertilizers. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Russia’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries Causing Worst Deficits Buying and Selling Fertilizers
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for fertilizers during 2022. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported fertilizers purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- Brazil: -US$24.5 billion (net export deficit up 63.9% since 2021)
- India: -$17.1 billion (up 89.8%)
- United States of America: -$4.8 billion (down -15.8%)
- France: -$3.8 billion (up 66.1%)
- Australia: -$3.5 billion (up 64%)
- Mexico: -$3.1 billion (up 83.5%)
- Thailand: -$2.8 billion (up 39.9%)
- Bangladesh: -$2.6 billion (up 41%)
- Indonesia: -$2.49 billion (up 85.5%)
- Argentina: -$2.47 billion (up 9.5%)
- Türkiye: -$2.05 billion (up 34.6%)
- United Kingdom: -$1.97 billion (up 130.3%)
- Romania: -$1.91 billion (up 112.7%)
- Japan: -$1.5 billion (up 110.2%)
- Colombia: -$1.4 billion (up 39.3%)
Brazil, South America’s biggest country including by land area, incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of fertilizers. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Brazil’s competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for fertilizers-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Major Fertilizers Exporting Companies
Below are global fertilizers-processing conglomerates that represent established players engaged in the international trade of fertilizers. The home country for each is shown within parenthesis.
- Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals (Egypt)
- Acron Group (Russia)
- Intrepid Potash (United States)
- Nutrien (Canada)
- Sinofert (China)
See also Top Pesticides Exporters, Chemical Exports by Country and Top Water and Ice Exporters by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on July 15, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 15, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 15, 2023
Wikipedia, Category:Fertilizer companies. Accessed on July 15, 2023